Baltimore and two other cities in Florida have fallen victims of ransomware. The city governments are troubled by the ransomware and malicious software which attacks the entire computer system and freezes up complete files of the computers. Baltimore and two cities in Florida found ransomware into their network in recent few weeks, and they have chosen to pay off.
Atlanta has also been attacked by ransomware when its municipal government’s system got hacked. Atlanta’s mayor is asking for federal help to gain freedom from the ransomware. Atlanta and Baltimore have been spending millions of dollars to unlock their data by getting the ransomware decoding key. In Florida, Riviera Beach paid $600,000 and Lake City paid almost $500,000 to get their data unlocked. These kind of deals are often done behind the door, not to let the public know about how much their online data is unsecured.
These cities may have been caught up by ransomware, but the governments are still incapable to avoid the attacks. They should look for companies like Techsperts, which have a team of engineers and researchers who provide Computer Services & IT Support. Instead of paying off the criminals, it is better to provide advanced IT training to the workforce or outsource the IT services.
Nobody knew much about ransomware before 2014, but when the malicious software started generating the new files by masking the existing data in the computers, ransomware came into existence. The criminal agencies have taken a year to know about the type of attacks. Atlanta and Baltimore are recent victims of a ransomware attack, which paid millions to the attackers to rehabilitate the system.
A Peek Into The Dark Side Of The Web
Now that everything from buying groceries to booking hotels can be done online, it is important to consider the potential risks that arise from being so connected to the world wide web. Are we really as safe as we think we are?
The internet as we know it has only been around for a few decades. As time passes and technology becomes indispensable to our daily activities, we are learning more and more about the online world. Like any other platform out there, there exists another face of the internet that most people are oblivious of — the dark web.
What is the ‘dark web’?
As intimidating as the name sounds, the dark web is still part of the internet, albeit inaccessible through our usual browsers. It functions on overlay networks that are out of reach of cyber authorities. It is the no-mans-land of the internet and a hub for a variety of illegal activities such as the sale of leaked personal information, account passwords, illegal arms and ammunition, and other heinous cybercrimes.
For us, the existence of the dark web and the anonymity of offenders operating through this medium can incite a plethora of questions surrounding our own online security.
Dark web monitoring services
Becoming aware of the dark web can cause us to realise that our personal information is not safe and may be vulnerable to identity theft. We often find ourselves powerless in these situations, due to our shallow understanding of what the dark web is. Large corporations can then harness our apprehension of the dark web to extract profits.
These companies demand huge sums of money as monthly premiums to keep your data safe from the dark web. As attractive as their packages may appear, very little information is shared by these companies about how they operate, leading to some serious misconceptions in regard to internet security and the dark web.
Common misconceptions surrounding the dark web
1. Compromised personal information can be erased permanently from the dark web
Information such as credit card details and account login details cannot be erased once in the dark web domain. Due to the large number of hosts and servers on the dark web, it is practically impossible to locate the information and delete it entirely from the server. However, by knowing exactly what information has been compromised, steps can be taken to prevent further damage.
2. Monitoring services can prevent your data from being sold on the dark web
Software exist that can scan the dark web for the presence of information, and it is recommended that you make use of this. However, no technology can prevent information from being uploaded to the dark web. Internet security companies who promise this are unlikely to be able to deliver on their word.
3. Dark web monitoring services can make you invincible to all breaches
While dark web monitoring services can help you identify a breach of data or alert you to compromised credentials, they cannot keep you safe from fraud. Taking precautions while using online banking services and keeping yourself updated to the developments in the online security sector is also recommended.
Vigilance is important
About 7 million records are compromised and sold on the dark web on a daily basis. At such a high volume, scammers are experts in devising new ways to breach your privacy and compromise your internet security. Companies such as Norton can provide Dark Web Monitoring services that can help alert you to security breaches, however nothing works as well as caution and vigilance. It is important that passwords are changed regularly, and credit card and bank statements monitored and scanned carefully for anomalies that can indicate any breach of information.
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